In past times the terms conservatory and orangery were used to describe large heated spaces, mainly built of glass, these were used to grow trees, plants, fruit and vegetables and were mainly built on large stately home type properties. In present times the terms conservatory and orangery describe glazed additions to any home, being simple or ornate in design, large or small.

In straightforward terms a conservatory has a fully glazed roof and the sides are mainly glazed allowing the maximum views out into the garden.

An orangery generally has a solid perimeter roof with a glazed structure in the centre, this is called a lantern.

Normally the flat portion of the roof would be finished in felt, lead sheet or EPDM rubber, the internal perimeter ceiling cuts out some of the suns summer heat and is normally well insulated so helps to keep it warmer in the winter, it is also perfect for fitting down-lighters, creating a lovely relaxing ambient light.

With the addition of high-insulation solar control glass, electrically operated roof-lites and a choice of French doors or multi-leaf bi-folding doors, our range of orangeries are truly a room to be used all year round

Unless you live in a listed building or your house is in a conservation area most single storey additions, including conservatories and orangeries, to domestic houses, can be built without the need to apply for planning consent.

Your orangery or conservatory could be built under the governments permitted development rules, which allow (with some conditions and exemptions) a single storey addition of 4 metres for a detached house and 3 metres for an attached house.

These sizes are measured from the rear wall of the house as it was first built, or for an older property as it stood on 1st July 1948

The government now allows larger permitted development, doubling the size to 8 metres for detached and 6 metres for attached properties.

An application form needs to be submitted and the neighbours to the property are consulted, but the process is more straightforward than a full planning application

Conservatories and orangeries are deemed to be non-habitable buildings as they are designed with a large percentage of glazing in both the roof and walls. Generally if you keep the addition separated from the house by external grade doors and the mode of heating can be separately controlled from the heating in the main house, building control would not be required.

Any addition larger than 30 square metres floor area requires building control.

All of the orangeries and conservatories we build are designed for all year-round use, gone are the days of most garden rooms being too hot to use in the summer and too cold in the winter We love the light airy spaces they provide and love the connection with the garden, we build orangeries,  conservatories and garden rooms with high levels of insulation, to preserve heat in winter and special solar control glass to reflect the sun’s rays and keep cool in summer. There are many ways to heat a garden room, with under-floor heating being the most popular, there is nothing nicer than the cosy feeling you get from a warm floor on a snowy or cold day.

Under-floor heating comes in various types;

Water-based ;

This is a series of pipe-work buried in the floor-screed of an insulated floor, it is heated by a conventional boiler, air-source or ground-source heat-pump and can be set by timer and thermostat

Elecric mat;

This is the cheapest form of underfloor-heating to install but is the most expensive to run, it is laid on top of an insulated screed, under the floor-finish. It comes in different grades of heat output measured in watts per square metre, the lower wattage just warming the floor the higher wattage providing total heating of the area

Under-floor night storage;

This single-wire system is installed in an insulated concrete slab, which heats up over night using cheaper off-peak electricity and stores the heat for the following day, there is also an override button for instant top-up heat if required.

There are a range of modern efficient electric radiators and panel heaters available and for those properties that have existing boilers with extra capacity it’s an option to fit radiators with separate controls.

Quite a few of our clients have chosen wood-burners to compliment one of the other types of heating, these really do make your garden room the perfect place to be on a cold winters day.

Acacia offer a free, no obligation design service

where we meet with you, discuss your needs and evaluate the proposed site. We then draw up an initial design and based on that, provide a cost for the project. This gives you an accurate cost for the proposed works, but at any stage we are happy to re-draw, or include any changes to produce your ideal design. We offer a full planning service, if required, including planning applications, building control, listed buildings and conservation area issues.